SC seeks Justice Isa’s response on three financial questions

ISLAMABAD: While hearing a review petition of a sitting judge of the Supreme Court (SC), Justice Qazi Faez Isa, against a smaller bench’s ruling on the presidential reference against him on Tuesday, a larger bench asked him to respond to three questions in the matter.
Heading a 10-member larger bench Justice Umer Ata Bandial asked Justice Isa to respond to three questions on the next hearing. Raising these questions, the bench asked whether Justice Isa is completely indifferent to his wife’s bank account; whether he had any legal connection with the money abroad to buy properties in foreign country; and whether the expenses incurred for the purchase of the property in abroad had nothing to do with him.
During the course of hearing, Justice Isa’s wife, Sarina Isa alleged that the apex court did not set the same standards for her as it did for Prime Minister Imran Khan, thereby violating her right to a fair trial under Article 19 of the Constitution.
At the onset of the hearing, a member of the bench Justice Maqbool Baqar asked Sarina to make her arguments as brief as possible.
Whereas Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked Justice Isa’s wife to tell the bench what was wrong with the SC’s verdict given in the case on June 20, 2020.
Advancing her arguments in the matter Sarina contended that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) did not share with her a “confidential report” it had sent to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), despite the bench’s order a day earlier to do so.
She further said that her tax matters are deeply personal saying even her husband is not privy to them. She contended that the FBR report on her personal tax matters has now been read by all the judges. She was of the view that the FBR illegally submitted a report on her tax matters without her knowledge.
She complained saying that her two years of life have been a subject for talk shows, adding her private life was made public by Fawad Chaudhry, Shahzad Akbar, Firdous Ashiq Awan and TV channels.
A member of the bench Justice Munib Akhtar observed that a confidential report cannot be submitted to an individual based on an application alone.
Responding to a query of Justice Akhtar, Sarina submitted, “I came to court because of my father”. She became overcome with emotion at the memory of her late father.
At this, Justice Baqar intervened and asked her to sit down. “I think we’ve heard enough,” he said. To which Justice Munib Akhtar said that he had not meant to upset her.
Earlier, while Sarina was presenting her arguments, Justice Bandial observed that the FBR had ignored questions regarding the rent she was getting from a property in the Clifton area of Karachi, as well as the income she got from a school.
“You were not a party in the main case,” he observed, addressing Sarina. “You appeared yourself and said you wanted to be part of the case.”
To which, Justice Isa stood up from his seat to interject, telling the bench that the observation was contrary to the facts. He accused Law Minister Farogh Nasim of making misleading statements in the court in this regard.
Justice Umer Ata Bandial then explained to Sarina that she was appearing before the bench for the first time, which is why the court was raising questions in response to her arguments. To which Sarina submitted that she could write down the bench questions and respond to them in detail later.
Then the judge posed four questions asking whether she had operated a fake bank account in another country; whether she had benefited from a trustee account in another country; if the transactions she had shown matched the value of the properties she had purchased abroad; and whether all funds transferred by her had been done through formal banking channels.
“You have to provide details of the period after August 5, 2009 — when your husband became the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court,” the judge explained. Whereas Justice Maqbool Baqir said that the court was examining any illegalities or unconstitutional angles in the judgement.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing for two days.


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